"Five years ago, I reported a story about PeacePlayers International
, or PPI, an organization that uses basketball to create connections among young people in divided communities. PPI puts kids who typically wouldn't interact—like Catholic and Protestant teenagers in Northern Ireland—on the same team to encourage dialogue and friendship. In countries like South Africa, where whites traditionally play rugby and indigenous people typically play soccer, basketball can be a sort of safe zone; everyone comes on equal footing. My family and I became involved with PPI last summer when we traveled to Durban to learn more and join in the games, and this year we went to Israel and the West Bank. While there, we asked the Jewish and Palestinian kids on one team if they ever hang out, and they all broke out laughing and said, 'Yeah, duh!' In places where young people are often encouraged to think the worst of others, these are the kinds of relationships that give hope for a more peaceable future."
How you can help:
You can sponsor
a participant, practice, or even a tournament, or host a fundraiser